FOXBORO, Mass. - Here's who's hot and who's not from this Monday morning quarterback.
Top Rookie Performance: Number One pick Brandon Meriweather was working out at cornerback, opposite Tory James, and made a nice play breaking up a flea-flicker to receiver C.J. Jones, thrown by undrafted rookie quarterback Matt Gutierrez, who shed a tackler rolling right before unleashing downfield to Jones.
Top performer of the day: Reche Caldwell It was the usual mixed bag for the wide-eyed receiver, who twisted the wrong way in missing a pass from quarterback Tom Brady, before bouncing back on the very next play to haul in a sideline bullet from Brady. However, Caldwell earned this honor by snatching a Hail Mary pass arched 50-plus yards in the air by on the very last play of practice, simulating a situation with one second left on the clock.
Top play of the day: Kicker Steven Gostkowski booming a 57-yard field
goal through the uprights to close out a simulated two-minute drill.
Stock is dropping: Sammy Morris mishandled a kickoff return when he botched the lateral throw to the trailing Ellis Hobbs.
Stock is rising: Wes Walker as he continues to display Pete Rose-like hustle running full speed to the various drills, and he flashed some real speed on a nice kickoff return as he broke free from the wedge on the right side.
Most athletic play of the day: Receiver Ben Watson twisting and turning to catch a Brady pass on the right side of the field, and breaking free down the sideline. A Herculean (apologies to Bud Selig) effort by Ben, not unlike his signature catch-and-run in the playoff game against the Jaguars two years ago.
Notable camp battle: Wide Receiver. It was Brady being Brady as he was distributing the ball to his newfound cadre of receivers, including catches by Kelly Washington Jabar Gaffney, and Caldwell, the threesome who somehow figure to be battling it out for the last receiver spot.
Extra Credit: Matt Gutierrez, who again was the last player on the field,
loooong after every other player was in the locker room. It will be interesting
to see if the quarterback who never lost a high school game (37-0) is rewarded
with his NFL baptism of fire in Tampa Bay on Friday night.
John Ingoldsby has covered the New England Patriots for various publications the past 13 years. He started covering the NFL for newspapers in the 1970s. John is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. You can find him on the Patriots Insider boards under the handle Rudiee.
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